We really must quit meeting like this.
We must quit telling stories blessed freezing winter day after winter day.
But why not tell stories?
The local Anishinabe huddled around campfires in wigwams all winter spinning yarns of Wenabozhoo and the North Wind and bright Nokomis, Grandmother Moon.
Certain stories might only be shared when icicles formed from tears and toes froze in deer moccasins.
Let’s toss another log on the campfire and heat the water for pine needle tea. What, you want coffee? In what century do you live, anyway?
The light of the world
“Do not try to save the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there patiently
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.”
- Clearing by Martha Postlewaite
Bitter cold still freezes tears this morning. Laughter ricochets off icicles.
I curl up on the couch on this day off work and ponder the dense forest of my life. One hundred thoughts arise like one hundred trees, all competing for attention.
I’ve been waiting patiently and impatiently for the song that is my life to fall into these cupped hands for a long lifetime. Sometimes I hear the tune, so very clear, like ice forming in the bay a quarter-mile away, and feel truly at home. Other days one wanders lost in the forest, wearing fear or sadness like a winter parka, fingers icy in woolen mittens.
Our Little House in the Big Woods
Picture this. The day before Thanksgiving. Waking up to about eight inches of beautiful fresh white snow outside our Little House in the Big Woods. The wood stove humming and throbbing to heat our home, relishing its breakfast of hardwood logs.
Still, we shiver. The back-up gas heater kicked in during the night. It’s frigid for November. I toss more logs into the ever-hungry stove. The logs clink hard against each other, promising more heat.
Barry still slumbers so I sip tea and ponder conflict. Oh, how I loved writing and pondering yesterday’s blog! Oh, how it resonated and thrilled and danced in my psyche all day long yesterday while the wind blew sideways and we purchased our first organic buying club order here in L’Anse, and we traveled up to Houghton on icy roads for Barry to cover a hockey game for his job at our local weekly newspaper.
One might imagine a morning breakfast of hot steaming grains, perhaps oatmeal or wheat berries or quinoa, to jump-start such a freezing morning. Instead I whirred together buckwheat groats and cashews in the food processor. Added chunks of frozen bananas and, OK, maybe some vanilla yogurt just because it smiled so dreamily from its perch in the refrigerator. Healthy ice cream for breakfast!
The pulsing clamor of the food processor woke my husband.
“I thought you were grinding rocks again,” he muttered as he settled on the couch, still sleepy-eyed.
“I don’t think people understand me,” I said.
He rolled his eyes silently. It was obviously going to be one of those mornings in the Little House in the Big Woods.
Posted in November 2013
Tagged conflict, immersive attention, inspiration, Jennifer Roberts, life, little house in the big woods, personal, stress, Thanksgiving, thoughts, writing
What the woods looked like last Tuesday
Tuesday. Blessings of the flock.
You’re walking up the road. The air feels still. Silence reigns between tall trees with lingering yellow leaves. Fallen leaves smell crisp with childhood memories of burning raked piles. In the distance, a logging truck whines. Otherwise, you only hear your footsteps slapping pavement.
Suddenly, up above, all around, dozens of chattering birds surround. From treetop to treetop they call, they tattle, they sing. They dive, they wing between branches, they dance. What kind? You hear chickadee, you glimpse juncos, you see a nuthatch.
It’s the blessing of the flock! All around they create bird magic for you. They sing until you remember your dream-wings, the heft and tilt of flight. Don’t they remind you of seeds everywhere, hidden in bark crevices, to be found when needed and not a second before?
Later, down the road, silence returns. You catch your breath at the mystery of it, the way the flock surrounds and dissolves. How it teaches in a language of feathers and how it can change everything, simply in the arising.
Inside our home–looking out
Today shall be my weekly blessing post. Thanks to my blogging friend from Scotland, Harula, who has inspired me to write weekly until 2014 dawns.
Looking to the right off our deck
Please admire the photos of the still-gorgeous autumn leaves all around our house. This is Home, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, thank all the tree gods and goddesses, as well as the spirit of the divine.
Because this post so means “Home” to me, I shall contribute to the WordPress daily prompt “Home Sweet Home.”
Dear friends and gentle readers,
As promised, here is the blog entry which, edited just a tiny bit, vacuumed its way into Suzi Banks Baum's "An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice" published in 2013. If you've saved a few shekels, do consider buying the book. I promise you'll hear some delightful, sincere, authentic stories.
One autumn leaf, two leaves, three leaves, four…
Readers, shall we take a break from our early autumn chores and play a little Jeopardy?
Let’s stand in front of our TV audience and pick a category.
I know what I’m choosing, Alex.
“Blog stats for $500, please!”
The Buick’s windshield covered with heavy dew obscures our road in blurry wet shapes. Up ahead–just to the left!–oh look, it’s a coyote. No, it’s a fox. Darn it, it’s a blurry wet windshield reflection moving into tall waving grasses.
Deep longing to know. To bond with tan-red wild creature skulking into the sunrise. To know its name. To feel its feral wildness, its unknowableness.
I will never know.
And maybe that’s OK.
Good Friday morning, readers! I’ve got a surprise for you today. My blogging buddy, Pam, over yonder at her blog roughwighting and I have done The Great Blogging Switcheroo.
What, you ask, is a Great Blogging Switcheroo?
A Great Blogging Switcheroo is when two bloggers decide to blog simultaneously on one another’s blogs. Pam is sharing a delightful story here and I am sharing a story about the modern-day caveman who lived in our woods back in the 1970′s.
So now that you have the Switcheroo basics, please settle down to enjoy meeting and reading my buddy, Pam. I would love it if you welcome her warmly in the comments. Then, if you have five extra minutes, buzz on over to her site and learn something never-before-revealed about our Little House in the Big Woods.
Without any further delay, here’s Pam!
The sun’s egg yolk eye of new possibility rises lower on the horizon these days. It’s starting to gab with the tree tops here in the woods. Some of the leaves turn starstruck with yellow, amazed that the sun pauses to talk with them. “To think,” some of the more spiritual ones whisper, “he even cares about us!”
Cold slips through the moon’s teeth at this time of year. You can’t see your breath under a full moon at midnight yet. (Not that I’d know. I’m asleep, dreaming, missing all the dark’s secrets.)
In the morning you debate: yes, no, maybe so. Should I start a fire in the wood stove? How much do you want to shiver early morning as you sip your steaming tea? Shall I wear my hooded 2000 University of Michigan sweatshirt over pajamas and burrow beneath the pink blanket?
I told Barry–no fire this morning. I’ll tough it out. He puttered away to work in the silver Buick. No need to scrape the car’s window yet.
Guess I lied. Match soon struck against box sending the sun’s cousin–firelight–working its magic against tree bark, igniting another early September blaze.